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PML-N legislator denies existence of forward bloc

By Amir Wasim 2016-06-19
ISLAMABAD: Denying reports about existence of any forward bloc in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, MNA Najaf Abbas Sial said on Saturday that the purpose of abstaining from the house proceedings for some time during the finance minister`s speech was to register a protest against the `behaviour` of some of the federal ministers.

Talking to Dawn, the MNA from Jhang claimed that there was a group of some 50 to 60 MNAs who were unhappy with the `behaviour` of four senior ministers in the federal cabinet.

The MNA, however, said that after assurances by Defence Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif, their `grievances have been removed`.

It may be recalled here that during the winding up speech on the federal budget for the financial year 2016-17 by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the National Assembly on Friday, a number of PML-N backbenchers started leaving the hall.

When an opposition member from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Malik Amir Dogar, pointedout the lack of quorum, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif rushed to the lobby and managed to avert an embarrassing situation by bringing the angry members back to their seats.

Mr Sial said between 50 and 60 of his colleagues in the ruling party were protesting against what he called `mistreatment at the hands of their own government` Responding to a question, the MNA said that the members had complaints, particularly about the behaviour of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khagan Abbasi and Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq.

Mr Sial said these ministers were not available even to party MNAs. He said due to ministers` unavailability, they were unable to solve problems of their constituents.

He, however, said Khwaja Asif had assured them that all their grievances would be removed. He said after the defence minister`s assurance, they had no grievances.

He said they would definitely vote for the finance bill and reports in some media circles about their possible boycott were incorrect.